NEW YORK — Munny and Dunny have a new home — Kidrobot's soft vinyl collectible toys with a cult following have settled into their new 2,200-square-foot crib at 118 Prince Street in SoHo here.
The 350-square-foot former Kidrobot store on the same block was as cramped as a shoebox what with all their colorful progeny and attendant clothing, footwear and accessories.
Toys and apparel get equal billing in the new store. "We've done that intentionally because it's the one area where we can truly represent the collaborations between toys and apparel," said Cynthia Roe, chief executive officer of Kidrobot. "This past year we did a collaboration with Lacoste for sneakers. A toy was designed for each sneaker."
The range of women's apparel in the store has expanded to include dresses, fashion bottoms, sweaters and, of course, artist-designed Ts. "We're also doing more knit tops and hoodies, and we even have a bathing suit," Roe said.
Kidrobot is expected to do about $1,000 a square foot in the new space. Roe declined to discuss sales, but 2007 volume has been estimated at $12 million by industry experts.
The company prides itself on its partnerships with artists and manufacturers. "Artistic collaborations are the legacy of the brand," Roe said.
Schifter + Partners — the manufacturer of Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. and Harajuku Lovers collections — makes handbags and accessories for Kidrobot. The company joined in partnership with Burton for snowboards and with Cool Lab for sunglasses in navy, mauve and white.
"We'd like to do sneakers again," Roe said. "We would like to do more with jewelry and potentially watches at some point. Housewares, like china products, would be fun. We have so much opportunity due to these artist collaborations."
Kidrobot isn't a stranger to fashion. In collaboration with Visionaire magazine, the company in 2003 created a series of designer toys decorated by Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander and Hermès. In September 2006, Kidrobot introduced a line of T-shirts, dresses, hooded sweatshirts and polos that were sold exclusively at Barneys New York and Colette in Paris.
Building the women's wholesale business is also a priority for Kidrobot, which has a more developed wholesale network for its men's wear. "Expansion is a key initiative of the brand," Roe said. "We're looking to expand into specialty stores and certain department stores where men's is being sold."Barneys New York, Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom's are among the retailers selling Kidrobot. Apparel ranges from $40 for a tank top to $495 for a leather jacket.
With its white walls and light wood floors, the new Kidrobot space provides a clean, gallerylike backdrop for handbags, jewelry and shoes. A mezzanine visible from the main level displays more products. The custom toy gallery features an oversize 4-foot Dunny painted by Tara McPherson and a 6-foot cyan-blue Munny. How much is that Dunny in the window? McPherson's version is $12,000. Custom 20-inch Dunnies are $6,000. "We wanted to have sufficient space," Roe said. The [store] is still playfully irreverent. And we have fitting rooms."
In addition to New York, Kidrobot operates flagships in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami. Roe plans to open Kidrobot stores in Las Vegas, Hawaii, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Amsterdam and Asia in the next five years. She also envisions more units in New York.
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